Playstation VR

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Rev
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Playstation VR

Postby Rev » July 25th, 2017, 11:36 pm

Well, I finally decided to buckle down and give VR a go. A decent sale came up at a local retailer so I picked one up with a few games and have given it a little bit of time over the last couple of days. This is definitely not the Virtua Boy and I was pretty impressed with the effects. The VR bundle + camera + joy cons give you everything you need to get started. Not a horrible process hooking everything up but it definitely takes 15-20 mins your first time (the online videos make it pretty quick and easy). Also getting the headset to fit right on your head takes some getting used to but it doesn't feel too heavy and is pretty comfortable. Make sure to grab some of your own headphones because the ones that come with the bundle are terrible... I really don't understand why they chose to make one end so short and it really bothered me. If you want a really immersive experience I guess you can buy the nice official PS headphones but who has time (or money) for that?

Anyway, when you're hooking up the VR you actually have a little box that connects to your PS4 and you have to make sure everything is hooked up in the correct way. The VR headset works with the PS camera to create the space and register your movements while also projecting a full sphere of gaming around you. Up, down, left, right, all angles are covered by the headset. If you want to use the joycons (which really do add to the immersion) you better have a clear pathway setup wherever you are gaming and can stand 6 feet at least back from your tv. The graphics and the games I have played thus far don't actually seem real (we're not quite there yet), but I find it less noticeable when you're looking at the environments. People are obviously the most noticeable and it is quite possible to start feeling like you're really in the space. It's pretty cool. If you have some expendable income this is actually pretty neat, especially if you have never experience VR before. I definitely want to play more but I need to figure out a better setup due to limited space.

Pros:
-The games are very reasonably priced right now (a lot you can find under $20 for physical copies)
-looks cool
-you really do feel like you're there
-The visual effects are very neat.

Cons:
-Lots of cables and extra stuff that you can buy which can add up quick ($$$)
-It's preferable to have some extra space for your setup
-The couple games I have tried are good at making you feel like you're there but moving around isn't practical with the current setup (can you even do it?, Interested to try like RE7 but probably only works with controller)). You can either use the remote or stick with motion controls. This is neat for standing in a spot but you don't really walk around.
-Most of the games are very simple in nature right now. Not a ton of full on games. More like long demos.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Retro STrife » July 26th, 2017, 12:09 am

I've been interested to learn more about the Playstation VR, so thanks for sharing. Like many gamers, I've been interested in the potential of VR since the I first heard of it in the early 90s, so it's cool to see it finally coming to fruition. Now we just need some good games to come out for it.

Back in 2010, I got to experience high-end VR at Brown University, in the 40 ft x 40 ft VR lab that they constructed on campus for scientific research purposes. It was meant as a "science experiment" rather than a game, but it was true VR technology with computer graphics, sound, etc. I wrote a topic about it here on the forums, and while it's a little dated now that VR is available to the masses, I still think it's a very good read:

viewtopic.php?f=5084&t=7619&p=79332

Based on that experience, I developed three key concerns with implementing VR into video games. (1) I got powerfully nauseous--the worst motion sickness I've ever experienced. I couldn't drive home afterward and felt sick the rest of the day. (2) Space is an obvious concern to everybody. To feel true immersion you need to be able to freely walk around the environment. That was a bit easier in the 40' x 40' VR lab that I wandered around, but most homes only have like 5' x 5' at best, which really limits movement. I've wondered how developers would get around that. Heck, even in a 40 x 40 lab, that means your "VR world" can only be 40 x 40 too. (3) One of the biggest issues is walking through walls! This is a weird concept to grasp, but let me try to explain... In a normal game, you use sit on your couch with your controller, and if you steer your character into a wall, he is prevented from walking through it. But in VR, there cannot be any walls! Your environment is entirely open (whether it be your 5 x 5 living room or a 40 x 40 lab). There were "walls" in graphical form in the maze that I explored in the VR lab, but I could walk through all of them. You would lose immersion if the wall stopped you in the game, while you walked freely in your living room.

Did you have any experience with these 3 issues during your time with Playstation VR?

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Rev
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Rev » July 26th, 2017, 8:48 am

Hey, thanks for the reply. Pretty cool to hear that you got to experience VR at a university. I bet that would have been really cool.

(1) I got powerfully nauseous--the worst motion sickness I've ever experienced. I couldn't drive home afterward and felt sick the rest of the day.

Yes this is very possible depending on the game. I haven't experienced anything yet but I've only played Batman Arkham VR and the Demo Disc that came with the console. I have heard that Rigs (I think that's the name) can definitely do this due to the height and the quick movements. While I haven't experienced nausea yet I have experienced vertigo.

(2) Space is an obvious concern to everybody. To feel true immersion you need to be able to freely walk around the environment. That was a bit easier in the 40' x 40' VR lab that I wandered around, but most homes only have like 5' x 5' at best, which really limits movement. I've wondered how developers would get around that. Heck, even in a 40 x 40 lab, that means your "VR world" can only be 40 x 40 too.


So far the games I have played have gotten around this issue by not letting you actually walk around. Now, I know there are games that do that by using the PS4 controller to control movement, thus you don't need to actual move around. However, Batman Arkham VR has preset areas that you look at or use items to get to that specific location. The movement is very limited on getting around. I think the biggest problem is using the PS camera to register movements since there is no VR adapters for your legs and you have to stay within the PS camera's line of site (and the length of the cables). The areas in the games can seem absolutely huge and looks amazing from a visual perspective but so far I haven't seen any games get around this. Might have one in the pile of games I picked up though so I'll be trying them throughout the next week or so.

(3) One of the biggest issues is walking through walls! This is a weird concept to grasp, but let me try to explain... In a normal game, you use sit on your couch with your controller, and if you steer your character into a wall, he is prevented from walking through it. But in VR, there cannot be any walls! Your environment is entirely open (whether it be your 5 x 5 living room or a 40 x 40 lab). There were "walls" in graphical form in the maze that I explored in the VR lab, but I could walk through all of them.


This hasn't come up yet but I think it is more because of the answer I gave on #2. When you pick up and analyze things in the environment of Batman VR you can do whatever with them but once you let go the environmental item respawns to the original point. I don't think this will be an actual issue though as the game s are probably programmed to prevent you walking through everything... Hard to say right now with the games I have tried. We;ll see though, got several other games that could prove me wrong. I think RE7 will probably be the best way to see the limitations of the VR world since that is a full fledged game. They might get around this problem by requiring you to use the controller. I'll have to wait until another game proves me wrong or I see how other games handle this.

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Atarifever
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Atarifever » July 27th, 2017, 9:13 pm

Problem 4: What if they develop a version of Moriarty that can defeat you? What then? That is my most pressing concern. :)

Seriously though, my biggest concerns relate pretty well with our "short gaming session" topic which has been talking a lot about all of the other concerns many gamers have on their time, money, and space. No matter how cool I think this sounds, I can't picture how I could ever put myself so "off limits" as would be required to play this and enjoy it. How is your sense of the real world while you're in this? Can you really enjoy it if the music/sound are turned down low enough to hear if the phone rings or if my wife or kids are calling for attention? If my children walk into the room, will the PS camera pick up the obstacle and beep or something before I trip over them? If my wife opens the door to tell me one of my friends is on the phone, will I get enough light/sound warning to not get smacked in the head by the door?

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Rev
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Rev » July 29th, 2017, 10:46 am

That's a pretty good point. I'm not sure how this would work for a family man. The sense of immersion is pretty strong. You can see a small wedge on the bottom which I find helpful to check my phone for missed calls but otherwise it's pretty tough to get a grasp of what's going on around you. I'm actually pretty interested now on how entering obstacles work with the camera. I'll probably test that out. As for the sounds you can definitely turn it down but not sure how that would impact the authenticity of the experience.

Played Rez infinite. Definitely my favorite game for the vr right now. Highly recommended if anyone gets or has a vr system.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Retro STrife » July 29th, 2017, 11:23 am

A VR place just opened right down the road from me. I was hoping it'd be something really high-tech, but they just use the HTC Vive for their VR units and the same games that you can buy at retail. The benefit, though, is that they have a lot of area for you to use the units, so space isn't an issue. You rent the space and the unit for $40 an hour, but you can have as many people as you want with no additional cost. And the image also projects on a TV screen, so your friends can see what you are seeing inside the headset. It's an interesting concept while VR is new and emerging, but I can't see it sustaining once VR becomes affordable and easier to use in your home. Still, I figure I have to try it at least once, so I plan to take nephews there next weekend. Maybe I'll try to post something, and also compare it to my experience at the Brown University VR Lab.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 29th, 2017, 4:17 pm

Thanks for sharing Rev. You rarely hear about VR experiences from real consumers - mostly from critics and media types.

It occurred to me that VR has one of the same issues as the Virtual Boy. You can't really properly convey the experience in pictures, or videos or words. I have not tried VR but clearly there is no substitute for trying it yourself. And frankly most people do not have the opportunity to do so. You sort of have to seek it out. In that way I think it's hard to get people excited.

Also, it seems like the ability to actually "walk" in VR is never going to be a thing. It's just too impractical. Fortunately there are plenty of other options like driving or flying.

I hear Resident Evil 7 is available in VR, and I suspect it would be terrifying. It was on a normal TV!

Herschie
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Herschie » July 29th, 2017, 8:48 pm

Do you get motion sickness? I can't even play Metroid Prime for very long before I get sick.

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Rev
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Rev » July 29th, 2017, 11:37 pm

I haven't gotten motion sickness yet but I could see you getting it depending on the game. I heard Rigs is very easy to get motion sick on. Yo out get The feeling of being really high up on certain titles like Batman arkham vr.

One thing I've noticed is the video quality of the goggles isn't as high def as the tv. Not sure on the video quality but that is definitely something I noticed with some games. It's definitely an enjoyable experience but it definitely won't replace traditional gaming anytime soon. One cool thing is you can use vr with a lot of PlayStation apps like Hulu and it's like watching your shows on a super big tv, just with a less clear picture lol.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Playstation VR

Postby Retro STrife » July 30th, 2017, 3:23 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Also, it seems like the ability to actually "walk" in VR is never going to be a thing. It's just too impractical. Fortunately there are plenty of other options like driving or flying.


A recent Game Informer article made it sound like any forward movement on the screen, without corresponding forward movement in real life, frequently leads to motion sickness. That was based on interviews with developers. According to the article, that's why walking around with the controller in VR doesn't work well. I don't know for sure, but it would seem that that would apply to driving and flying too.

And I agree with you about walking being too impractical to ever implement. With walking, the space in the game world has to correspond to your space in real life. For example, when I used the 40 ft x 40 ft VR Lab at Brown University, that meant that the developer had to make the "game world" 40' x 40' too -- not an inch bigger or smaller. In a home setting, you probably get a max of 6' x 6'. So, to allow walking, the entire game world has to be one very small area, or a series of small areas (e.g., exploring a mansion, where you are moving from one room to the next).


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